What is TDCJ doing about Seasonal Flu and H1N1 Flu?
TDCJ is focusing on efforts to keep flu out of the system. Offenders entering through intake units will be evaluated for illness. If an offender is found ill with flu-like symptoms, they will be kept separate from the general population until we can be sure they are not carrying the virus. Offenders that could have been exposed in route on the transport vehicle will also be kept separate for the appropriate incubation period. Employees and visitors are being observed for signs of illness before allowing them onto the units.
At the present time, visitation is not being stopped, but potential visitors who may be carrying the virus will not be allowed on the unit. If you are sick or have any of the following signs and symptoms, you should not attempt visitation:
- Fever over 99.5 degrees
- Feeling feverish or having chills without taking your temperature
- Recent onset of cough or sore throat
- Vomiting or diarrhea in the previous 24 hours
- Exposure to someone known to be infected within the previous week
It is important to be honest in your responses to any questions about your health when you attempt visitation. If you have these symptoms but do not admit to them so that you can visit, you may be threatening the health of your incarcerated loved one as well as that of all other offenders in TDCJ.
You may be asked to wash your hands before entering the unit. If TDCJ staff observe you having possible flu symptoms, you may be asked to leave before visitation is over.
We are stressing the importance of good handwashing with offenders and staff because that is the single most important thing a person can do to reduce their risk of catching swine flu, until a vaccine is available.
We have increased our surveillance for flu-like illnesses and testing for influenza on the units so that we can detect the entry of flu into the system.
TDCJ has a stockpile of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) on hand to treat the infections, and will be taking measures to reduce the chances of spread within the units and between units.
We are continuously re-evaluating our control measures and staying abreast of recommendations from the Department of State Health Services and the centers for Disease Control and Epidemiology to be sure we are doing all we can to protect the health of the staff and offenders.